Daniel Pauly is a French-born marine
biologist, well-known for his work in studying human impacts on
global fisheries. He is a professor and the project leader of
the Sea Around Us Project at
the Fisheries Centre at the
He also served as Director of the Fisheries
Centre from November 2003 to October 2008.
born in Paris, France.
up, however, in Switzerland in what was called a strange "Dickensian" childhood
where he was forced to stay as a live-in servant to a new
Through the first 16 years of his life, Pauly lived
an inward life as he was half-black in an all white town, finding
solace in books/reading and model construction. At 16 he ran away
and put himself through high school in Wuppertal, Germany after one
year working with disabled people for a local church-run
institution. His work led to a scholarship to the University of
It was at the University of Kiel where Pauly decided on fisheries
biology. He said he wanted to work in the tropics because he felt
that he would "fit in" better there. He also wanted to devote his
life to an applied job where he could help people.
He did a master's degree at Kiel University under Gotthilf Hempel
on "The ecology and fishery
of a small West African lagoon". Pauly then spent two years
conducting trawling surveys as a member of a German-Indonesian
project aiming at introducing this relatively new gear. He began to
write on tropical fisheries management; later his emphasis switched
to global fisheries trends and conservation.
Arguably Pauly's best work was his Ph.D. dissertation at Kiel
University in Germany, again under Hempel, in which he established
strong relationships between the surface area of gills and the
growth of fishes and aquatic (gill-breathing) invertebrates.
Ph.D., Pauly worked for 15 years at the International Center for
Living and Aquatic Resources Management (ICLARM), in Manila, Philippines.
Early in his career at ICLARM, Pauly worked
in the tropics and developed new methods for estimating fish populations
helped to design, implement, and perfect methods using
length-frequency data instead of the age of fish to estimate
parameters of fisheries statistics such as growth and
Later, he helped develop two major projects: ELEFAN and FishBase
. ELEFAN (ELectronic Length Frequency
ANalysis) made it possible to use length-frequency data to estimate
the growth and mortality of fishes. FishBase
is an online encyclopedia of fish and
fisheries information comprising information on more than 30,000
different species. Both projects received worldwide attention and
through multiple upgrades and additions, are still prominent in
Through the 1990s, Pauly’s work centered on the effects of overfishing
. The author of several books and
more than 500 scientific papers, Pauly is a prolific writer and
communicator. He developed the concept of shifting baselines
in 1995 and published
his seminal paper on Fishing Down Marine Food Webs in 1998. For
working to protect the environment, he earned a place in the
2003, the same year the New York
labelled him an “iconoclast”. Pauly won the International Cosmos Prize
2005, the Volvo Environment Prize in 2006, the Excellence in
Ecology Prize and Ted Danson
Award in 2007, and the Ramon
Margalef Prize in Ecology and Environmental Sciences
Pauly's most recent book is Darwin's Fishes
. In January
2005 he had a stroke, which slowed him down for a while.
To date, he frequently expresses opinions about public policy.
Specifically, he argues that governments should abolish subsidies
to fishing fleets and establish marine reserves
. He is a member of the
Board of Oceana
- Pauly D, Christensen V,
Guénette S, Pitcher TJ, Sumaila UR, Walters CJ, Watson R, Zeller D (2002) "Towards sustainability in world fisheries"
Nature, 418: 689-695.
- Pauly, D. 1998a. Why squids, though not fish, may be better
understood by pretending they are. In: Payne, A.I.L., Lipinkski,
M.R., Clarke, M.R. and Roeleveld, M.A.C. (eds.). Cephalopod
biodiversity, Ecology and Evolution. South African Journal of
marine Science 20: 47-58
- Pauly D, Christensen V,
Dalsgaard J, Froese R and Torres F (1998) "Fishing down marine food webs"
Science, 279: 860-863.
- Pauly, D. 1998b. Beyond our original horizons: the
tropicalization of Beverton and Holt. Reviews in Fish Biology and
Fisheries 8(3): 307-334
- Pauly, D. 1995. Anecdotes and the shifting baseline syndrome of
fisheries. TREE 10(10): 430
- Pauly D and Christensen V (1995) "Primary production required to sustain global
fisheries" Nature 374(6519):
- Pauly, D. 1981a. The relationships between gill surface area
and growth performance in fish: a generalization of von
Bertalanffy’s theory of growth. Berichte der Deutschen
Wissenchaftlichen Kommission für Meeresforschung 28(4):
- Pauly, D. 1981b. On the interrelationships between natural
mortality, growth parameters and mean environmental temperature in
175 fish stocks. Journal du Conseil international pour
l'Exploration de la Mert 39(3): 175-192
- Pauly, D. and N. David. 1981. ELEFAN I, a BASIC, program for
the objective extraction of growth parameters from length-frequency
data. Reports on Marine Research: 205-211
- Pauly, D. "Aquacalypse Now" The New Republic,
September 28, 2009.
- Pauly, D. 1973. Investigation on the ecology and fishery of a
small West African Lagoon. M.Sc. Thesis. In German with an English
- Malakoff 2002
- Pauly, D (1998) Why squids, though not fish, may be better
understood by pretending they are In: Payne AIL, Lipinkski
MR, Clarke MR and Roeleveld MAC (eds). Cephalopod biodiversity,
Ecology and Evolution. South African Journal of marine Science 20:
- Pauly D, V Christensen, J Dalsgaard, R Froese, and F Torres Jr.
(1998) Fishing down marine food webs Science
- The Fisher King Cosmos, January
(2007) The last wild hunt – Deep-sea fisheries scrape
bottom of the sea